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What is Blood in the Front of the Eye?

Identifying the disease that is causing hyphema is essential in order to save the cat's eyesight. Noting any other symptoms that the cat is displaying is helpful in diagnosing the correct disease.

Blood in the anterior chamber, or front chamber, of the cat's eye is a condition known as hyphema. Hyphema isn't a disease in and of itself but is rather a symptom of a systemic or ophthalmic disease. The condition can range from mild to severe, with mild cases presenting with a light pink color in the fluid in front of the eye. Severe hyphema typically presents with the entire chamber filled with blood, blinding the cat.

Blood in the Front of the Eye Average Cost

From 509 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$400

Symptoms of Blood in the Front of the Eye in Cats

Symptoms of hyphema are dependent on the extent that bleeding has occurred and the location from where the bleeding began. 

  • Red or pink-colored fluid in the eye between the area of the cornea and the pupil/iris
  • Swelling of the cornea
  • Corneal lesions
  • Cuts or bruises around the eye area
  • Eye discharge
  • Pain or irritation in the eye, which may cause the cat to squint or close the affected eye
  • Blindness or decreased vision in affected eye
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Causes of Blood in the Front of the Eye in Cats

There are several diseases or conditions that can cause hyphema to occur. These conditions include:

  • Injury or trauma to the eye or head
  • Severe uveitis
  • Severe retinal detachment or tearing
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Hypertension
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Chronic glaucoma
  • Parasite infection
  • Tumor or cancer in the eye
  • Retinal dysplasia
  • Bleeding of the blood vessels
  • Lymphoma
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Diagnosis of Blood in the Front of the Eye in Cats

The veterinarian will need the cat's complete health history. It's important to note any other symptoms that the cat is experiencing in order for the vet to correctly identify the disease that is causing the hyphema. The veterinarian will physically examine the cat, noting any signs of trauma, swollen lymph nodes and its blood pressure levels.

An ophthalmic examination will need to be done on the cat's eyes. As part of this exam, a Schirmer tear test, tonometry, pupillary light reflex testing, and fluorescein eye stain to test the cornea will be done. These tests will allow the veterinarian to determine where the bleeding is coming from and may help identify the underlying cause of the hyphema.

A complete blood count, a urinalysis, thyroid serum tests, serum biochemistry tests, blood coagulation tests and chest and abdominal x-rays will also be done. Each of these tests will check the function of other organs in the body and narrow down what disease is causing the bleeding.

If these tests indicate something is wrong with an organ, further tests may need to be done, such as hormonal tests of the adrenal glands, a bone marrow biopsy or an x-ray of the eye orbit and head. These tests are advanced and may need to be done in a hospital.

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Treatment of Blood in the Front of the Eye in Cats

Medication

Topical corticosteroids as an ointment or eye drops will be prescribed to the cat. Corticosteroids will reduce the inflammation in the anterior chamber and around the eye. The cat will also be prescribed atropine eye drops, which dilate the pupil. Dilating the cat's pupil will help to reduce their pain level and minimize the sticking between the lens and iris. If corticosteroids don't help enough with inflammation, aspirin may be prescribed. Aspirin may increase the risk of future bleeding, however, so it isn't used as the initial treatment. If the cat's intraocular pressure is elevated, glaucoma medications will be prescribed to reduce this pressure and decrease the chance of bleeding.

Surgery

If the intraocular pressure doesn't decrease with the use of medications, glaucoma surgery may be necessary in order to relieve the pressure and save the cat's eyesight. The fluid in the eye will be drained and altered to stop fluid buildup in the eye.

If the hyphema occurred due to a traumatic injury, surgery may also be needed to correct the injury and any accompanying lesions.

Primary Disease Treatment

In order to save the eye, the primary disease must be treated. This may include dietary changes, medications for high blood pressure or hypothyroidism or treatment for a retinal detachment.

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Recovery of Blood in the Front of the Eye in Cats

The cat's activity must be restricted for at least seven to 10 days. This will allow time for the bleeding to stop and the hyphema to settle away from the cat's front chamber. If a blood clotting disorder is found, the cat will need to stay calm as blood clots can move quickly through the body with activity, causing a heart attack or stroke to occur. If the hyphema has caused vision loss or blindness, it's important to monitor the cat when outdoors. 

Regular follow-up visits with the veterinarian are necessary in order to check for bleeding, test the intraocular pressure and monitor the use of medications. Primary disease treatment will also need to be followed-up with the veterinarian.

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Blood in the Front of the Eye Average Cost

From 509 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$400

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Blood in the Front of the Eye Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Street cat

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Two Months

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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Blood In The Eyes And Gray Eyes

I found an abandoned kitten on the street with its eyes protruding from its orbit. The veterinarian said it was herpes. He prescribed Ciplex and Aerotex. After 4 weeks, his eyes appeared but he could not see. I stopped the medication. Another week later, his eyes turned gray with blood vessels in them, and blood came out of his eyes when he rubbed them. Another veterinarian prescribed tyrolose, dicloptin, and clobiotics. No changes were made during the week of consumption. The third doctor prescribed him the drugs levofloxacin, homidrin, and tirlos. After a week, there was still no change .

Aug. 3, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question, and I'm sorry for this little kitten. Unfortunately, some viral diseases can cause such damage to kittens eyes, early in life, that it might not be fixable. It seems that you are getting good veterinary care, and I think frequent rechecks for the kitten and consistent medications may help, but that kitten might never see. Your veterinarian will be able to let you know more as they can see the kitten and know whether it has Vision or not. I hope that the kitten is able to live a normal life regardless.

Aug. 3, 2020

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Short haired cat

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Red Splotch In Eye

I just noticed my cat has a slight red splotch in his eye... he isn’t showing any symptoms and acting normal. What could this be? He does not have any medical issues

July 26, 2020

Owner

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Jessica N. DVM

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Hello- Thank you for your question. It appears like he is having some changes in the color of the iris, but it is hard to say for sure with just the picture. If it continues, progresses or he develops any symptoms with the eye I would recommend having him examined by your veterinarian to evaluate it.

July 26, 2020

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cat

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Fourteen Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Swelling/Blood Out Of Eye

our cat had swelling under the eye. it closed up pretty good thinking he got stung by a bee. we took him into the vet and they had to give him a shoot.they could not decipher what it was till the swelling went down. this morning he had blood on his paws from cleaning the wound along with blood still on it. we will take him in, but what would cause it? is it draining?

July 12, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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I'm sorry that your cat is having problems. From your description, it sounds like it probably is draining, whether the blood is from the wound or from the eye. It would be best to follow up with your veterinarian so that they can reassess once the swelling has gone down. I hope that all goes well for your cat!

July 12, 2020

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Siamese

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Slight Bloody Discharge From The Corner Of The Eye.

My cat had a scab looking thing in her tear duct. We removed it with a warm wash cloth. It is pretty red in the corner of her eye. There was a very slight amount of blood that discharged afterwards. Should I be concerned?

July 9, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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Hello, Some times this eye discharge can cause the skin underneath to get infected. It would be best to clean this area with water. If it does not improve in a day or two, it would be best to see a vet. They can prescribe your cat some medication to put on this spot to clear the infection.

July 9, 2020

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Kurt

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Maine Coon

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2 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Eye Bleeding

Just came home from a weekend away and my 2 year old Maine coon has what looks like blood in his left eye , there’s no obvious cut around the eye that I can see . He ate wet food and drank water since we have been Home and seems a little lethargic but mostly ok , I intend to take him to the vet first thing in the morning , is this something he needs to go to the emergency 24 hour vet for ?

Aug. 20, 2018

Kurt's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

If Kurt seems otherwise alright and is eating/drinking/defecating/urinating you should keep a close eye on him for any other symptoms until your Veterinarian opens in the morning; if you notice any other symptoms or you are generally concerned you should visit an Emergency Veterinarian to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 20, 2018

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Snoots

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Birman

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8 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Cloudiness In Eye
Cloudiness In Eye Blood

My cat is 8 and has cloudiness in her right eye with what looks like sleep in both corners but it’s blood. She has been to the vet numerous times and he said he’s never seen anything Ike it. No other symptoms and it’s been like this for 3-4 years.

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Charcoal

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Long hair black

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1 Year

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Sneezing
Hyphema
One Eye Larger
Crushed Cheek Bone?

My healthy 1 year old outdoor kitty went missing, and 5 days later we found her stuck under a neighbor’s porch. After pulling up the deck to get her out, we took her straight to the vet. She was not dehydrated or malnourished (which was surprising!), but both her eyes are filled with blood and are now black. They are different though. On her left, her cheek bone seems sharper and almost as if it’s jutting out, but her pallet is fine and she doesn’t seem to be in pain when I touch the area. On that same side her eyeball seems larger than the right, and it’s milky but with purple and reds behind it. The milkiness has decreased slightly over the last week. The right side is smaller but totally black with no color whatsoever. She also has a small tear in the side but the vet was unconcerned. She has a little more discharge on that side but nothing too bad. She had some dried blood on that side near the corner that had to be shaved away where it matted her fur. She had no other injuries. She’s taking three different eye drops which include the dialators, antibiotics, and pain medicines, but I feel like there should be more I can do?! I also have no clue how this happened? Her pressures were fine and her bloodwork showed no toxins or high blood pressure. I’m feeling helpless and so sad for her. She’s depressed and only sleeps now as she is completely blind. She may be able to see some shadows only. :(. She also has sneezing fits occasionally, although those have decreased in frequency quite a bit.

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Stripy

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domestic short hair

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5 Years

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Bleeding Eye

Hi, I've already written my experience but realized I left out a fair bit of details. I already mentioned that I have taken Stripy to the vet twice since the first treatment wasn't the correct one prescribed. He was diagnosed with hyphema which was the result of fighting with another cat, but fortunately his eye wasn't damaged and the bleeding was caused most likely by bleeding of the vessels. We were told to treat the eye for a week to see if it heals. However, we are nearing the end of the week and after showing signs of improvement, his eye is an orange color, which is concerning for me as I am not sure if this is from the bleeding starting again or if its from the eye drops. I cannot afford to keep taking him to the vet, never mind the surgical treatment recommended should there be no further improvements. Despite his eye looking like that, he is still healthy, and eats regularly, drinks regularly and is very playful. I hope someone could shed light on what could be going on with his eye.

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Anna

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Donmistic

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4 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Red Stuff In Eye

My cat has this red stuff in its eye and it’s been there for like 2years and I always ask my parents if I can bring my cat to the vet to what is wrong we never go but Anna is still very good and nice.

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Baby

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Short hair black cat

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8 Months

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Bloody Eye

Hi my 8mth kitten woke up this morning with a blood eye. Her whole 👁 is bloody red but last night she was good and nothing was wrong with her or her eye. Can I use regular relief eye drops on her. I just rescued her 6months ago from a busy Main Street and she’s been really healthy. Please can u help me and my kids on what to do. I don’t have enough to take my baby to the vet.

Blood in the Front of the Eye Average Cost

From 509 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$400

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